By Matt Stefano
The Soo Thunderbirds hockey club is very proud to announce that forward Lucas Theriault has committed to the Ontario Hockey League’s Niagara IceDogs for the 2019-2020 season.
Theriault, who was drafted by the IceDogs in the 12th round (224th overall) back in 2016, has just completed his second full season with the Thunderbirds.
“It feels great to sign with the Niagara IceDogs,” said Theriault. “I’m super excited and I can’t wait to get started in August. It’s a great organization and I’m very happy to be apart of it.”
This past season with the Thunderbirds, the 19-year-old forward finished with a league-leading 40 goals and finished tied with teammate Noah Boman for the league-lead in points with 76.
“We’re excited for Lucas and for his future with the IceDogs. For two years Lucas was a leader on and off the ice for the Soo Thunderbirds and knowing what Lucas brings to the table, he’ll be a major contributor to the IceDogs Hockey Club,” said Thunderbirds general manager Trevor Zachary.
This past season, Theriault also became just the fourth Thunderbird in the team’s twenty year history to win the NOJHL’s scoring title, joining Ryan Corcoran (2001), Jeff Rainville (2003) and Gavin Burbach (2014).
“Winning the league scoring title felt great and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and coaches,” continued Theriault. “It was hard work and determination that helped me succeed this year. My confidence and commitment to become a better player was a key factor in achieving my goals.”
The Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native who led the league with 40 goals, also became the first Thunderbird to score 40 goals in a regular season since Gavin Burbach did back in 2014.
“Being the first Thunderbird to score 40 goals in a season since Gavin Burbach was an unbelievable feeling,” continued Theriault. “Huge thank you to my teammates for helping me achieve that goal.”
Theriault, who set career highs in goals (40), assists (36) and points (76) during the 2018-2019 regular season, was also named the NOJHL’s Improved Player.
Theriault is also a cousin of current NHLers Nick and Marcus Foligno, who both spent their entire Ontario Hockey League careers with the Sudbury Wolves.
“Nick and Marcus have always supported me and have been great role models ever since I was a young kid watching them play in the OHL,” concluded Theriault. “They have always motivated me to keep working hard and to never give up and I can’t thank them enough for everything they have done for me.”